Gov. Charlie Baker today directly addressed his concerns to President Obama about the potential designation of one or more National Marine Monuments off the coast of New England, saying the process has lacked stakeholder involvement and threatens to undermine existing fishery management systems.

“While the protection of critical marine habitats is a goal shared by many — including my Administration — significant questions and concerns have been raised regarding this possible designation,” Baker wrote in a letter to Obama, a copy of which was obtained by the Gloucester Daily Times. “I wish to convey my Administration’s apprehension as to both the process being implemented and the effects of such a unilateral declaration.”

The Obama administration, under significant pressure by environmental groups, is considering using the Antiquities Act to unilaterally designate areas of deep-sea canyons and seamounts — and possibly an area on Cashes Ledge — as National Marine Monuments, thus closing them off to commercial and other recreational uses. Cashes Ledge is about 80 miles east of Gloucester.

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